How Do You Appreciate Your Pastor?
October is Pastor Appreciation Month and October 11th is Pastor Appreciation Day. So I wanted to talk about the various ways in which you can show your pastor how to appreciate the work he does. For the record, this article does not pertain specifically to me but to all pastors in general. One of the first things you can do is understand that he occupies an office. Like the President of the United States, the man (or woman) occupies a sacred office. You may not have voted for the individual in the office, nevertheless, the office still is to be revered. The same goes for pastors. There are many people who 'do not like' their pastor for whatever reason, however, the office still needs to be respected. Remember, the office was established by Christ Himself. To go along with this it is important to remember that your pastor is not a 'hired hand.' He is not an employee of the church. He is a servant of the Gospel and is there to bring God's truth to God's people. The second thing: respect his family. A man who is married with children is a husband and a father before he is a pastor. He duties to his family come before his duties to his congregation. His wife is also not a 'co-pastor.' A congregation should never have 'expectations' of his wife; her name is not on the call documents plain and simple. And lastly, and I think most importantly: show up. Come to Bible classes, make the best effort to show up on Sunday mornings for worship. This may seem obvious, but it does mean a lot to pastors. Gift cards, checks, and Hallmark cards are nice and warm reminders from parishioners of their appreciation, but if you want to truly express your appreciation, show it by coming to hear the Word. After all, that is what your pastor is there to do. Many people do not realize the amount of work that goes into planning things like sermons or Bible studies. The fact is, though it does take an enormous amount of work. These are just a few ways you can express appreciation for your pastor. Encouragement from laity is important to pastors, especially since so many aspects of our job can be very discouraging.
Those are fantastic reminders for us I think.
I, for one, am extremely thankful that the Lord has led me and my family to a faithful Confessional Lutheran church with a faithful and steadfast Confessional Lutheran Pastor.
No, the church isn't perfect (what church is?), it's tiny, it's a long drive away, it's in a somewhat questionable part of the city, and it's still a struggle getting my wife and kids to want to go there with me each week, but it's the only place I've been able to find in the entire area where the Pastor is not ashamed to be Lutheran in a Lutheran church week-in-and-week-out.
Seriously, it's just so nice to be able to come into church each week and not always "be on guard" like I was so often in the past since I just knew that there was going to be so much false teaching that I would have to address it with my wife and kids on the drive home. That was literally the worst!
There were times I was moved to tears due to the sheer frustration and sadness I felt having to go through that all the time. Now, I'm sometimes moved to tears by the simplicity of a faithful preaching of His Word and a faithful distribution of the Lord's Supper.
Really, I've told my Pastor that he will never truly know how much having a church like his to attend means to someone like me, and I thank God for him and it daily while also continuing to pray for him as well.
So, the best way to appreciate your Pastor is to merely receive the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation from him each and every week. Another way we can appreciate or support our Pastors is to remind them of their Ordination vows too.
In a Lutheran layman's terms, you appreciate your Pastor by simply letting him do those things for which he is called to do, because he's the one chosen to stand in the place of Christ for you.
Thank you, Pastor Hendricks. May God bless you!
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Executive Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!